In the context of real estate, what is an "オウンキー"?

I understand that it literally translates as "own key", but having a word for that seems to be like needing a word for people with only one head. Is it to distinguish from people who live in a place, but don't have a key to access where they live?

  • 1
    I'm monocephalic you insensitive clod! (-; Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 9:27

1 Answer 1


Many hits for this word are from Australia and about people who share a room/apartment. For example:

オウンキーは1人づつ持たせてもらっているのですが エレベーター操作ができるスワイプキーはシェア。

So, apparently オウンキー means that you don't have to share the key with someone else living in the same place.

EDIT: in fact, the term seems to have been borrowed from English (1, 2) and not invented by Japanese, so the wasei-eigo tag is probably wrong:

Hi, 1 female needed for living room $180/week only 2 people in the appartment. [...] All bills included, Free Internet, Own key, Swimming pool, Gym, Sauna and Spa!! Very Safe and Secure appartment and the area :)
Only 3 people in the room, with your OWN keys. No need to share the keys, so you can get full access 24/7,

(P.S. You should always mention where you found the word and provide some sentences for context; don't assume it's something obvious...)

  • This sounds like German English to me. English native speakers would only used it in condensed contexts like classified ads. German speaks actually say things like "do you have an own key"? In any case it's an odd kind of borrowing because it looks on the surface like it's borrowed an adjective + noun phrase as a word. A bit like ワイシャツ (business shirt) comes from English "white shirt". Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 9:32
  • I would keep the wasei-eigo tag since the question is about the topic whether it turns out to be the correct analysis or not. In my opinion though it's in the grey area, a kind of quasi-wasei-eigo that can be analysed both ways. Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 9:35

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